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Yesterday I had a great meeting about Project Wombat. "What?!" "I've been managing that project for six months! How can you have a meeting without inviting me?!!" "Have you noticed that meetings go smoother without any knowledge or expertise?" "Kinda."
I'm too busy to learn anything about the projects I'm managing. "I barely have enough time to make critical decisions about them." "Maybe you're lazy and stupid." "Let's go down to the pond and throw rocks at the ducks."
The Boss: There must be more to managing than giving vague directions and punishing people for not reading my mind. But I like to play within my game. Its a form of genius. Catbert: wake me up when some of this is about me.
The Boss: I need to be managing a sexier project to boost my career. \it only has to sound good and not fail until I geta better job. How about a nanotechnology set cell for fighting terrorists? Dilbert: O-O-OKay.
The Boss: "Wally, what's the status of your project?" Wally: "Deep breath.. clear my mind..." "I've been focusing my bandwidth on organic growth." "I'm getting lots of push-back, so I'm taking the discussions offline." "But sometimes I table an issue or handle it in a side bar." "Now I have my ducks in a row. The deal-breakers are on the back burner, and I'm managing expectations." The Boss: "Okay... keep up the good work." Dilbert: "Wally, you don't have a project." "What? Then why am I so tired?"
Dilbert points to a slide and says, "And then I would end the presentation with this." The Boss is sitting next to two other pointy-haired people. He says, "Whoa! I don't like the look of that background color." The Boss continues, "Red says danger. We don't want to scare our customers." Dilbert responds, "Um.. okay. How about yellow?" The second pointy-haired person says, "Yellow? Are we saying we're cowards?" The third pointy-haired person says, "What we need is a committee to set some standards for background colors." Dilbert responds, "What we need is a meteor to pulverize you three pointy- haired, micro-managing nitwits." After the meeting, Wally asks Dilbert, "If you didn't move your mouth, how did it get out?" Dilbert responds, "It came out of my ear hole."
The Boss says to Dilbert, "If we can put a man on the moon, we can build a computer made entirely of recycled paper." Dilbert responds, "Your flawed analogy only shows that other people can do other things." The Boss says, "Maybe you should call other people and ask how they do it." Dilbert responds, "Maybe they use good analogies."
Dilbert says to The Boss, "I need your approval for this expense. The equipment is already here and installed." Dilbert continues, "I left out the description because you wouldn't understand it anyway." The Boss says to Catbert, "There's a fine line between managing and being totally useless." Catbert responds, "Luckily it looks the same."
The Boss says to Wally and Dilbert, "All of our data is grossly inaccurate... but I need data in order to manage." The Boss continues, "If I concentrate hard enough I can forget that the data is bad. Then I can use it." Wally and Dilbert watch as The Boss shakes with clenched teeth. Wally says, "I have to give him credit.; managing is harder than it looks."